Hello family and friends!
For those of you who may not know, I have been called to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have been called to the Finland Helsinki Mission which goes back three generations for me! This calling means that the Lord has called me to invite others to come unto Christ and to share with them the happiness that I have felt in my life because I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and with my Father in Heaven.
I am currently ending my second week in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) where I spend my days with 10 other missionaries who are learning Finnish with me. Each day we study from the Bible and the Book of Mormon. We learn to speak Finnish, and we practice helping people feel the Spirit of the Lord bless their lives–all in Finnish! I love it out here and I’m excited to share my experiences with you.
Week two has been a rollercoaster ride! Just when we thought we were getting settled into the MTC some of our good friends who were headed to Georgia and Japan left! There are over 2,000 missionaries in the MTC right now going all over the world and new ones keep coming and leaving every week. People who are speaking their native tongue are only here for two weeks, so we’ve seen people come and go already. Two down and seven to go!
This week we got two new investigators, people who want to come closer to Christ by learning about His gospel from the missionaries. Their names are Renee and Karina. (Right now they are our teachers because there aren’t many Finns around here, but it doesn’t make the experience any less real.)
I want to share a very personally touching experience with you:
Thisweek I played the role of an investigator completely in Finnish. My name was Mary Elizabeth and I was living alone in New York City. I had just moved there to get cancer treatments. and despite my horrible disease, I had a very positive outlook on life and friends often came to stay with me. I thought about what my concerns would be if I really was that person. Sister Johnson and Sister Ross (our teachers) asked the class to watch the lesson–to pay attention to my reactions and how I changed rather than on their specific teaching. I was really nervous because I felt like my Finnish skills were under scrutiny, but i decided to let that go and focus on being that investigator with real concerns and emotions. As the lesson transpired, I felt a miracle working in my heart. The missionaries taught me that God loved me and asked me how I felt about that. I answered that I wasn’t sure what that meant. I told them about my family. I didn’t know where my dad was, didn’t have a significant other, no siblings, but I had a Mom who cared about me immensely. She called me all the time to see how I was doing and sent me flowers in the mail just because she was thinking about me. The sisters listened with real love and care as I opened my heart up to them. Even though I was positive, I truly felt alone sometimes. They taught me that because God loved me He placed my loving mother in my life. He gave me friends who cared about me and He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for me. He died for me personally so I could be with my Heavenly Father again. I thought that idea so interesting and started to feel love all around me as if someone was wrapping their arms around my battered body. Someone who truly cared was reaching out to me even though no one else knew how much i was suffering inside. Then the sisters asked me to read a scripture from the Book of Mormon. In just a few verses it said Christ has suffered “pains” and “infirmities of every kind” and he did this so he might be able “to succor his people.” As I read those words, I had to pause a moment before I could go on. The missionaries asked what I was feeling. I looked up at them without any words to describe the feelings of my soul. I said I didn’t know why I felt the way I did, but I felt like I wasn’t alone for the first time in months. I didn’t know if what I read could be true, but if it was true. If someone really did suffer for me and knew just exactly how I felt and knew how to comfort me then I would be so happy! They told me that it was true and that the feeling I was feeling was the holy ghost, sent by God to tell me what they taught was true. Wow! what an incredible experience! I know that even though I am really not Mary Elizabeth and I healthy as can be, the Spirit in that room testifying to me that Jesus Christ loves me was and is real. Even if you have felt that feeling, I encourage you to pray to the God you know and take a leap of faith to ask him if he really does care about you because I know that he will answer you that he does.
On a different note, have any of you heard of Spike Ball? It’s a fantastic sport where you put a little trampoline type thing on the ground and hit the ball of the trampoline. There are two teams and the goal is to score points (same idea as volleyball). The trampoline is basically the net and after it bounces off of the trampoline your team has three hits to get it back onto the trampoline and aim it at the other team. It’s quite fun and the Finns are all very into it!
Note from Mom: I am adding a video about Spike Ball.
Sorry this was a short email this week! I love all of you and pray for you everyday! If you want my address ask my mom for it at adamsm at byui dot edu.
Thank you for all of your support and emails and pictures! They really make my day!
Sister Adams 🙂